The idea for this story came to me when I was working on a research project involving some of our local historic sites. For the first time in many years, I opened up the fat folder containing all the old documents and papers that I used in proving my line of descent from my Revolutionary War patriot, Major Robert Nixon of New Jersey, whose line was a new one for DAR. His granddaughter, Julia Ann Hulick Nerson, was my great-great grandmother. My family still owns the property where she lived, and where the Battle of Irish Bend, also known as the Battle of Nerson’s Woods, was fought. I went to the Young-Sanders Center for the Study of the War Between the States in Louisiana to get more information. I also went back to the property, which is now cane fields and woods. There I was able to find the remains of the foundation of the old Nerson home, and to view several ancient oaks, bending over toward the bayou, which were certainly growing there when Julia Ann lived. I decided to tell the story as though I were Julia Ann in her last days, how she might have felt, what she might have thought. She lived her last days during one of the darkest hours in American history, and yet the country has survived and thrived.
“My Life” by Julia Ann Hulick Nerson
By Lana Downing